Report on cocoa and forced child labor

October 2006, 15 p. (pdf)

, by International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF)

This report from the ILRF critiques the Harkin-Engel Cocoa Protocol and raises key questions about the cocoa industry’s progress in eliminating child labor since 2001.

Over 40% of the world’s cocoa, the primary ingredient in chocolate, comes from the West African nation of Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast). Beginning in the late 1990s, reports began to surface that detailed the pervasive use of abusive child labor in the West African cocoa sector. In 2000 and 2001, media reports in the UK and US describing child trafficking and enslavement on Ivorian cocoa farms led to a public outcry and call for change. Chocolate industry companies, faced with a credible threat of legislative action, sought to minimize the damage and assure chocolate consumers and lawmakers that the industry could tackle this problem without government regulation.